Colonel Mark Gray MBE: I'll prove my son is not a rapist
A decorated Royal Marine colonel yesterday vowed to clear his son’s name after he was jailed for rape.
Colonel Mark Gray MBE believes his son George is innocent and “will not rest” until he is released from prison.
Public schoolboy George, 19, was jailed for four years for raping a girl at a lavish party. He was found after the attack covered in the victim’s blood and was branded “brash and arrogant” by a judge.
But his father has slammed the verdict and says he is “disappointed and frustrated” at how his son has been treated by the justice system.
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Colonel Gray says the only the evidence is the victim’s statement – which he says in rape cases makes “miscarriages of justice inevitable”.
He has also slammed police’s “ululation” with the media – claiming officers publicised the case in the press because of the family’s profile.
In a statement, the colonel said: “As a loyal servant of the state, I cannot hide my disappointment and frustration at the manner in which that state has exercised its power over my son in the past year or so.
“Nothing I have seen in the past two weeks has done anything other than reinforce my certainty of his innocence.
“I find it incredible that a young man can be convicted on the uncorroborated evidence of a single individual, proven in court to have been less than honest.
“Sadly, political imperatives have recently lowered evidential thresholds in such cases, making miscarriages of justice inevitable.
“I am equally disappointed with the conduct of Devon and Cornwall Police, whose shameless ululation to the media today brings on them no credit and heightens the grief of all involved.”
Gray was 18 and a pupil at £22,000-a-year Truro School in Cornwall at the time of the rape, which took place on October 29 last year.
The attack happened at a party attended by 170 guests, who were entertained by opera singers and a seven-piece band.
Gray “guided” his then 17-year-old victim into a bathroom at the £3 million property next to an area housing a swimming pool, gym and cinema, the court heard.
He locked the door and raped her, covering her mouth with his hand and, when she tried to scream, holding her against a wall by her throat, the court heard.
The victim had agreed to kiss the defendant and to go to a quieter area of the house, but had made it clear she did not want to have sex with him, it was said.
Following the attack, the victim immediately told friends she had been raped and was taken to hospital.
Gray was arrested later after leaving the party and still had blood on his hands and shirt, the court heard.
Gray, from East Lyng, near Taunton, Somerset, was convicted at Truro Crown Court and sent to a young offenders’ institute for four years.
He will serve half that sentence before he can be released and will be put on the sex offenders’ register for life.
Passing sentence, the judge, Mr Justice Burnett, told Gray he had come across as “brash and arrogant” in the witness box.
But despite the judge’s comments, Colonel Gray thanked him for not jailing him for longer.
His statement said: “I am grateful to the Honourable Mr Justice Burnett for sentencing as leniently as the guidelines allowed.
“I remain committed to the fight to clear the name of my son and will not rest until that mission is accomplished.”
The colonel has served in Northern Ireland, Iraq, Beirut and the former Yugoslavia, where, as part of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force in 1992, he defied land mines and booby traps to save 20,000 lives from a planned Serb attack on a dam.
He was made an MBE in 2002.